We all like the shallow depth of field effect that we get in photos taken by DSLR. It brings the subject in focus, while the background gets a subtle blur effect. Now, not everyone has the luxury to afford a DSLR. But thankfully everyone has a smartphone with a decent mobile camera.
Now although, you can not take a DSLR-Style blurred background right out of your smartphone camera, there are apps to take care of it. The results won’t be as refined as DSLR, but it’s still good enough.
Why don’t we get desired blur effect from SmartPhone cameras?
Shallow depth of field depends on these four parameters.
- Bigger the aperture of the lens, greater is the blur.
- Longer the focal length of the lens better is the blur.
- More the distance of background from the subject, more the blur.
- Less is the distance of the lens from the subject, more will be the blur.
Now, since we can change the aperture or focal length of Smartphone camera, the only way to get blur effect on Smartphone’s camera without using editing — try to keep the subject close to your phone and increase the distance between subject and background.
But this is not an option, for the majority of photos. So, the only option we are left with is to use third-party image editing apps. So, let’s check out few of them.
Apps to Create DSLR-Style Blurred Background
If you have a Nexus Phone, then you can use Google Camera to take a picture with a shallow depth of field effect. So, instead of capturing a single photo, it captures multiple frames with different exposure settings. Unfortunately, Google Camera is only available for Nexus devices, but you can always sideload the app.
As the name suggest, the app makes the subject stand out by defocusing the background.
Unlike the previous two apps, this one works in the post processing. You can not take pictures with this app, but only import from your library. Once the image is imported, you can adjust the blur level. This will blur the entire picture and then you can unblur the subject by using the brush tool. Overall, it takes some time to get the desired effect, but the results are refined.
Out of all three apps in this list, this one gave most realistic results. You can take pictures from the camera or import it from your gallery. In the free version of the app, you have to select the subject using the brush tool; which again is a time-consuming process.
Or you can get the paid version, where you just have to draw some lines inside and outsite the subject, and AfterFocus will automatically identify the focus area.
Although, I was reluctant to try this app first, because of its generic name, but it does work.
Like all the depth effect app in this list, first you need to import the picture in the app either from the phones internal storage or take a picture using the device camera. Once done, the app will automatically add a blur layer on top of the image. Next you need to use your finger and touch on the part of your photo that you want to keep in focus.
Compare to AfterFocus, this app require more manual work. But in general, if you want to fine tune the blur background in your phone, and time is not an issue, this app offer more control over any other app in the list.
Although, you can never get 100 percent DSLR-Style Blurred Background with your smartphone camera. These camera and editing apps will help you get as closer as possible.
What are your favorite camera apps? Did we miss any excellent app? Let us know in the comments below.